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Old 05-18-2010, 10:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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How to Make Brownies for the US Military

This is priceless.


LINK

LINK to the RECIPE (warning: PDF)

Quote:
How to Make Brownies, Pentagon-Style

Katherine Mangu-Ward | May 17, 2010

The Pentagon's brownie recipe is 26 pages long. Just grab a copy of document MIL-C-44072C and gather your ingredients: water that conforms to the "National Primary Drinking Water Regulations (Copies are available from the Office of Drinking Water, Environmental Protection Agency, WH550D, 401 M Street, S.W., Washington, DC 20460)," and some eggs in compliance with "Regulations Governing the Inspection of Eggs and Egg Products (7 CFR Part 59)," and you're ready to go!

3.3.2 Brownie preparation. (NOTE: The contractor is not required to follow the exact procedure shown below provided that the brownies conform to all finished product requirements in 3.4.)
a. Whip eggs in large bowl on high speed until light and fluffy.
b. Combine sugars, cocoa, salt, and leavening; add to beaten eggs, and whip on high speed until thick.
c. Add shortening slowly while mixing on low speed.
d. Scrape bowl and whip on high speed until thick.
e. Mix flour, nuts, and flavors together and fold into batter; mix until uniform.
f. Pour batter into pan at a rate that will yield uncoated brownies which, when cut such as to meet the dimension requirements specified in 3.4f, will weigh approximately 35 grams each. (Experimentally, a panning rate of 14 to 16 grams per square inch was used.)
g. Bake at 350F until done (30 to 45 minutes).
3.3.3 Brownie cutting. The brownies shall be cut to the appropriate size when cool (see 3.4f).

Wondering about adding walnuts? Simply consult section 3.2.5.3 from the "30 April 1990 SUPERSEDING MIL-C-44072B 9 December 1987 W/CHANGE 12 February 2003 MILITARY SPECIFICATION COOKIES, OATMEAL; AND BROWNIES; COCOLATE [sic] COVERED."

3.2.5.3 Nuts, walnuts, shelled. Shelled walnut pieces shall be of the small piece size classification, shall be of a light color, and shall be U.S. No. 1 of the U.S. Standards for Shelled English Walnuts. A minimum of 90 percent, by weight, of the pieces shall pass through a 4/16-inch diameter round hole screen and not more than 1 percent, by weight, shall pass through a 2/16-inch diameter round hole screen. the shelled walnuts shall be coated with an approved food grade antioxidant and shall be of the latest season's crop.

These rules are for brownies destined for MREs, so it makes sense that Department of Defense wants to make sure they're getting uniform brownies with staying power. And many of the pages of regulations have to do with durability of packaging. But any sympathy I might have had for the whole brownie specs enterprise dissolved when I got to section 4.5.1.1, "Ingredient and component examination," which included this gem:

If necessary, each ingredient shall be examined organoleptically.

Sound like some kind of fancy scientific process, right? As in: "Put those walnuts in the Organoleptatron3000 to test for radioactivity." But in fact, testing "organoleptically" means that tasting, smelling, or looking at something. It's not clear whether you're allowed to decide if a batch of walnuts are OK by nibbling on a few before or after passing you pass them though a "2/16-inch diameter round hole screen" and coat them with "approved food grade antioxidant." All that and yet they can't spell chocolate or reduce fractions?

To answer the obvious question: No, there are no standards for the production of "special brownies."

Download the entire PDF to get the full specs, or do what I do: Go for the rather less complicated Baker's One Bowl Brownie recipe.
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Old 05-18-2010, 11:27 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Yeah, it's easy to laugh at how anal all of this is until you've eaten over a thousand of those meal components and realize with mild awe that they're always edible. I've learned never to take food as a given unless it comes out of one of those brown bags. Our rations are gnarly; best on Earth.

I've probably choked down at least thirty of those brownies.

...

Here's a fun story about military nomenclature:

For awhile I worked in the "gun shop" of my unit and thus was in charge of the utterly ridiculous paperwork involved with ordering weapon parts. Just for giggles, I got a little ballsy one day and started making up requests for all sorts of things, including "FLUID, SOUL-CLEANSING, WHISKEY, 750ML BOTTLE, SQUARE, GLASS, TWIST TOP, JACK DANIELS BRAND, OLD NO. 7." and other mildly amusing line items that the company commander signed off on without even reading. You should have seen my arms room, bro... I had authorization for phased plasma rifles, crack rocks, and one pet La Chapacabra. Careful wording of the initial items on an official-looking, properly-formatted document is a great way to really screw with people in the military.
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Last edited by Plan9; 05-18-2010 at 11:43 PM..
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Old 05-19-2010, 01:00 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Quote:
Phased plasma rifle...
Hey, just what you see pal.
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Old 05-19-2010, 06:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Ewww. Brownies made with shortening.
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Old 05-19-2010, 08:32 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Charlatan View Post
Hey, just what you see pal.
Fucking hilarious, Charlatan. Yeah, we used that exact line a few times whenever somebody requested something with improper nomenclature.

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowy View Post
Ewww. Brownies made with shortening.
Yeah, but they're edible for like 8 years if you keep the package intact.
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Old 05-19-2010, 09:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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I think I'd rather make my own with butter when I feel the hankering for a brownie.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:32 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Yeah, it's easy to laugh at how anal all of this is until you've eaten over a thousand of those meal components and realize with mild awe that they're always edible.
Or had to read and implement government regs... this is definitely 'funny cause it's true'.
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Old 05-19-2010, 04:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Given the circumstances, I have no issue with using shortening. If I were a soldier eating rations, I'd probably weep to see a brownie. Any brownie (and that was not a euphemism). I'd weep for different reasons if I opened my kit to find a mouldy brownie.
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Old 05-20-2010, 07:12 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Plan9 View Post
Our rations are gnarly; best on Earth.
Yeah. Aren't you lucky. You had those yummy MREs. I, on the other hand, had to choke down canned C-rations. Woe be to the hapless young Airman that found the Ham and Lima Beans in his C-rat. He was going hungry. Conversely, if you found the pound cake in your meal, then you found gold. You could trade that one can of pound cake for an entire meal. My dog tag chain still has my last remaining P-38 hanging from it.
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Old 05-21-2010, 08:02 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
Yeah. Aren't you lucky. You had those yummy MREs. I, on the other hand, had to choke down canned C-rations. Woe be to the hapless young Airman that found the Ham and Lima Beans in his C-rat. He was going hungry. Conversely, if you found the pound cake in your meal, then you found gold. You could trade that one can of pound cake for an entire meal. My dog tag chain still has my last remaining P-38 hanging from it.
That's funny... I carry a P-38 on my ID tags, too. It's more like a good luck charm ("In Stomach We Trust") than a useful tool.
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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ohh god... the days of Naval supply.

one number wrong on your NIN and instead of a gross of pens you received 55 gallons of refrigerant oil.


my old supply officer use to like to tell the stories of submarines having airplane wings show up on the pier and the air force Base in arizona that has a 22 ton anchor leaning up against one of the hangers that says "check your stock numbers"
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:15 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Old 05-21-2010, 11:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
I Confess a Shiver
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bill O'Rights View Post
Yeah. Aren't you lucky. You had those yummy MREs. I, on the other hand, had to choke down canned C-rations. Woe be to the hapless young Airman that found the Ham and Lima Beans in his C-rat. He was going hungry. Conversely, if you found the pound cake in your meal, then you found gold. You could trade that one can of pound cake for an entire meal. My dog tag chain still has my last remaining P-38 hanging from it.
Well, MREs had a few entrees that were similar to the C-rat torture. Before my time there was something called the "five fingers of death." Few Joes I knew liked the meatloaf. My personal favorite was the 2000ish circulation of the veggie bag containing the bean burrito a.k.a. "Mexican Pop Tart."
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:11 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Do any of you have an address or two for me to send cookies and brownies to the troops?

I have friends who mentor a Sunday school group of kids who would love to share their baked goods with our Soldiers.

And before anyone barfs, these kids are real good bakers!!!! Any other tips would be cool to know beforehand.

Thanks.
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Old 05-21-2010, 12:18 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hunnychile, you always have a way of making the least-productive threads productive.
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Old 05-21-2010, 01:13 PM   #16 (permalink)
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The compliment goes back at ya!

Good vibes tend to resonate.
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Old 05-22-2010, 08:43 AM   #17 (permalink)
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My understanding of it is that they frown on that sort of thing hunny. baked goods tend to not withstand 1000 degree iraqi heat. but i know their are groups who send care packages out.

Marines Care Package Project: List of Items Needed by Marines in Iraq and Afghanistan check that out.
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Old 05-22-2010, 10:06 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by genuinegirly View Post
Hunnychile, you always have a way of making the least-productive threads productive.
WTF?

...


So, yeah, please stop sending the troops baked goods. If they eat one more stale chocolate chip cookie, they're going to come home and PTSD the shit outta their wives. It is bad enough that most of the ready-to-eat food over there is junk garbage (Oreos, Otis Spunkmeyer double-chocolate muffins)... they don't need to get it from home. Troops value non-food items such as baby wipes, permanent markers, and good sport sunscreen more.

But what do I know?
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Last edited by Plan9; 05-22-2010 at 10:10 AM..
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